Andreas, when FW started it was billed "the class for everyone" now everyone can racr with only one board and 3 sails. FW could have been that but see what happened. Most people were scared by the huge sails. Myself I bought 2 brand new sails a 10.2 and 8.5 and an AHD Daimond 72 the first year of the FW class. Next year I stopped because my gear was out of date. Never went back....
I agree with that.
That's what killed Slalom in the first place too--the arms race. The industry solution seems always to be to create another class, not fix what we have. Formula Ex, is a great example. Shouldn't be needed at all if we'd kept to the FW concept in the first place.
I will say though, that the arms race has slowed somewhat--the first years of FW saw some needed and radical changes, but now they're incremental. I suspect a 2004 Starboard 158 is still competative in the right hands, with the right fin (if it hasn't fallen apart). Slalom gear hasn't changed much in years and years--iPods --I mean-- iSonics or whatever, the latest hype, not withstanding.